Feb 26th, 2012
I'd like to compliment you on your CCW article. It's a very good information for someone looking to start carrying. There are so many factors to consider that someone new to gun ownership won't find out on their own until months or years down the line. I'm a former LEO from a few decades ago and a club member. I was trained with and carried (past tense) a revolver while on the force. I didn't really get into semi-auto's until this year. The decision between the two can be a difficult one. However, I'd like to point out that a dirty revolver can be just as problematic, if not worse, than a dirty semi-automatic. Because the semi-auto has a generally more complex firing mechanism than a revolver, people tend to generalize and say it's more reliable. That theory, especially with all the wonderful new guns (including poly) doesn't really hold water anymore. Hence, you'll notice virtually all militaries and most police agencies now carry semi-automatics.
I believe in the theory of "cocked & locked"; meaning I have a semi-auto with a round chambered and the mechanism cocked. I use the guns safety(s) to prevent an accidental discharge. Most of my carry weapons have a 1911 style thumb safety, with the exception of my XD9c which has a grip and trigger safety. When you fire a semi-auto in single-action mode, you've essentially have a less complex mechanism than the revolver. Also, as many Bad Guys know, all you have to do to disable a revolver in double-action mode is to grasp the cylinder and prevent it from rotating. It's actually very easy to do.
That is not the case with a semi-auto which has been cocked and locked.
The other issue is gun safety. If there are children around, any child can almost instantly figure out how to fire a revolver. It's a little more complicated with a semi-auto with its safeties functioning.
I'm not discounting your article, but hopefully enhancing it a bit. I wholeheartedly encourage able-bodied citizens to learn to protect themselves and I believe knowing when and how to carry a gun is not only a right, but a responsibility if you decide to own a gun.
There are some great CCW (Carry Concealed Weapon) permit classes out there that are fairly inexpensive. In it (at least in Arizona) you will be required to show you are proficient enough with it to pass the class. So, it's a bit of a Catch-22 situation. But, guns can be rented or you might be able to borrow one from a friend for the purposes of the class.
Thanks for your very informative article.
Aug 26th, 2012
What's legal depends on your juiridictson. There are a lot of good options, and they depend on your locale, context, threat model, and lifestyle. Here's the shorthand: If in a concealed carry state and can obtain a license, the most effective and potent self-defence option is a HANDGUN. YOU MUST TRAIN ADEQUATELYIf not, OC SPRAY. YOU MUST TRAIN ADEQUATELY. If both are illegal for carry in your juiridictson, then WHITE LIGHT (SMALL TACTICAL FLASHLIGHT). Again, YOU MUST TRAIN. Other good options include tactical folder, expandable baton, and pen. Most things are legal for carry in some places and not in others. For instance, Britain is infamous for outlawing tactical folders (locking knives and knives over 3 inches). ALL WEAPONS ARE USELESS AND/OR DANGEROUS WITHOUT ADEQUATE TRAINING. Adequate training includes: - ethics and jurisprudence- how to carry legally- quick draw and deployment- retention (well yeah, someone can take it away IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING )- force continuum- mechanics of effective use (e.g. body mechanics for striking or cutting power, target acquisition, etc.)- targeting (where you want to get the guy, and how to hit what you're aiming at)- tactics with movement- use of the weapon within the overall strategy of escape and survival- alive training against resistance for ALL of the aboveA couple notes on the other answers: TASER (TM) shoots probes, both police and civilian models. Stun guns do not. I hadn't mentioned Tasers. They're a good options in some respects, but have some tactical downsides: once you've shot your wad, it's gone. Also, people often miss with the lower barb when shooting at someone far away, since the barbs spread further apart the farther the target is. Answers that do not address weapons FOR CARRY are not answers to this question, and should be ignored. Home defence, and especially improvised weapons at home, are a separate issue.